Here is Chapter Nine of Evils: The Other Four.
We Ask A Tortoise Shell For Directions
The guy summoned a bunch of birds, which grabbed all three of us and started flying straight for Mount Penglai.
Along the way, he explained a few things.
The guy's name was Jun. He was an alter for Lei Kun, the Chinese god of thunder, just as I was an alter for the love god Yue-Lao. The alteres were people who carried a bit of the spirit of the Chinese gods. We could use a bit of the gods' power, or even swap positions with the gods themselves. Mount Penglai was a place where alters could spend their summers in safety from the monsters who were attracted to their scent, like the Jiang Shi.
"It's rare that any of us leaves Mount Penglai before the end of the summer," Jun said. "Let alone find another alter while we're out."
We arrived atop the mountain when a thunderous bellow shook the earth below us. "JUN PORREL!"
A man walked up to us, though I use the word "man" loosely. He had clawed fingers, a pair of batlike wings, and a beak in the center of a blue face, and wore a loincloth.
"Lord Lei Kun," Jun said.
"WHO SAID YOU COULD LEAVE MOUNT PENGLAI?!" Lei Kun demanded.
"Lord, I have found another alter. Sabina Hartlen, alter of Yue-Lao. A Jiang Shi had found her first, which could have led to her death had not it been for my presence."
Your presence couldn't save Jace, I thought spitefully. But I knew that was unfair.
Lei Kun calmed down a little. A little. "For saving another alter, you will not be punished. But this is your final warning. Never leave the mountain without permission again. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!"
"Yes, very clear, Lord. It shall never happen again."
Just then, a girl came running up to the four of us. "Lord Lei Kun, there are visitors in need of aid."
"Visitors?" Jun and Lei Kun asked simultaneously, while Shé hissed with them.
"Yes, from somewhere called Camp Life. Three people who call themselves livers. What is the protocol for this."
"Thank you, Tia," Lei Kun said. "The protocol is to inform me of this. Mount Penglai has not dealt with Camp Life much since the fourteen hundreds. Additional protocol requires three alters and the use of the Oracle bones. Jun, Tia, and Sabina, you come with me."
A girl with brown hair worn behind her head stood there, flanked by a girl with black hair and a jewel in her hand and a guy who kept his hands behind his back.
"My name is Asha, and this is Hailley and Jag," the black-haired girl said.
"Our camp was destroyed by a Hindu demon discussing some Merge and we need help stopping it," Jag said.
"Hindu mythology is true, too?" I whispered to Jun.
"The Merge? Now? I mean, ah, the six of you, consult the Oracle bones," Lei Kun said. He pointed a clawed hand to the ground, where a bunch of bones - looked like a couple femurs and a tortoise shell - sat.
Tia looked like she knew what she was doing. She cracked a bone, and her eyes started glowing. Her voice tripled as she spoke:
"The power of eight shall merge into one
The gods shall fade should the Merge be done
Strength is formed by the power of eight
When the ninth who will lead them escapes from his fate
The deadliest monsters shall merge for the fight
As eight crossroads, in death, unite."
Somehow, I felt like I knew most of that stuff. The Merge sounded eerily familiar.
"When it says 'The gods shall fade', does that mean the Chinese gods or the Hindu gods?" Jag asked.
"Both, and many more," Lei Kun said gravely.